Current Projects


TIIS is pleased to announce the funding of the following Junior Faculty Research Fellowship.

 

Mary J. Dudas

Adjunct Lecturer, Political Science

 

Mary is working on connecting three sets of stories about the restoration of political sexual virtue: Livy's rape of Lucretia, Machiavelli's retelling of the rape of Lucretia in Mangragola, and contemporary invocation of the "cuckservative." Livy's rape of Lucretia, perhaps the foundational telling of this story, narratively links republicanism and masculinity and relegates women to the home as guarantors of family virtue.  Livy's rape of Lucretia, moreover, mythologizes the public sphere as a realm of fatherless brothers.  Machiavelli's retelling of the rape of Lucretia, Madgragola, connects public and private spheres in order to create anxiety about patrimony that is presented specifically in terms of property and inheritance rather than the agonal politics of the ancient republic. The "cuckservative" is the latest incarnation of this trope that builds a particularly masculinized call to political action on the threat of the adultery or rape of wives. While Livy, Machiavelli, and the cuckservative narratively and rhetorically associate the political agency of men with reproductive control over women, claim the public for men, and relegate women to the private; the cuckservative reimagines this trope in significant ways. I will argue that the latest incarnation of this masculinized call to action, the "cuckservative," links political agency with masculinity and the control of women's sexuality in a way that erases the difference between rape and consent and substitutes a racialized version of nation for family honor, property, and polis. Mary will present this paper in November 2017 at the Northeastern Political Science Association Conference.  Her goal fall semester is to prepare this paper and receive help from the group integrating any feedback from the conference into her argument.

 

Alexander D. Manevitz

Visiting Assistant Professor, American Studies

 

Alexander's research focuses on the intersection of African American history and urban history in the nineteenth-century United States. His current project centers Seneca Village, a predominately African American community founded on the edges of Early American New York City and destroyed to build Central Park in the 1850s. His work analyzes the city’s use of eminent domain to seize land for Central Park, and the arguments against it made by affected landholders. These depositions reveal what various landowners valued about their property. Reading them in the context of Seneca Village, however, shows that Seneca Villagers straddled both old and emerging understandings of urban land value. While real estate prospectors and urban developers defined their land value only in terms of the real estate market, Seneca Villagers, and others in neighboring settlements, also emphasized the usefulness and personal importance of their land for farming, building homes, investing in their communities, and maintaining a sense of independence. American cities experienced great upheavals in the early nineteenth century, and Seneca Villagers understood and worked within the new elite city, but lived lives that depended on older urban visions that were being pushed out. The story of

Seneca Village, at this moment of transformation, reveals the uneven implementations of the mid-century elite urban commercial capitalism. It also highlights the long history of resistance and alternative urban visions that have helped define New York City and other American cities.  Alex will use the fall to further refine his argument and research on this project.

 

 

Anna Terwiel:

Visiting Assistant Professor, Political Science

 

Anna is working on rethinking the role of the body in politics through prison protests such as hunger strikes. She has engaged with Foucault's work (especially on sovereignty and biopower) and feminist theory (especially the work of Elizabeth Grosz and Michelle Murphy), but she wants to spend more time thinking about hunger strikes in relation to disability theory. The traditional figure of the hunger striker is both able-bodied and able-minded: their fasting is understood as political because it is voluntary--not the result of anorexia, depression/suicidality, or another illness. Anna started critiquing the politics/pathology binary in her dissertation, and would like to pursue her argument by engaging with the work of disability/crip theorists such as Alison Kafer, and with the care ethics of Joan Tronto.  Anna's plan for fall semester is to integrate disability theory into her work on prison protests and a way to rethink the politics of prison protests.​